After a clean race yesterday, the Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire field didn’t even make it to the start/finish line before the shenanigans began. The front row of Jack Aitken and Weiron Tan began playing games as they lined up two wide going into the final corner before taking the green.
Whether Aitken failed to go or he missed a shift, it gave Tan a huge jump on the rest of the field as the green flag flew. The accordion effect, and drivers behind Aitken who were anxious to go initiated an incident just before the start finish line, that saw Garret Grist end up against the inside wall with significant damage and Carlos Conde slide though the grass on the outside wall.
The No. 3 Cape Motorsports with /WTR car of Daniel Burkett sustained front and damage and he came to a stop further down the track. Also involved were Dalton Kellett, Raoul Owens, and Alessandro Latif, who all made pit stops to try and repair the damage caused by hitting debris.
The field went back to green on lap 5 with Tan leading the way. The big gainer on the first green flag lap of the race was Latiffi who moved from fourth to second, while the big loser was Jose Gutierrez who dropped from second to fifth. Pole sitter, Aitken had worked his way up to fourth.
Unfortunately, on lap 7 the Andretti Autosport No. 28 of Dalton Kellett had to pit again to try and repair damage sustained during the first lap incident.
By lap 10, Tan had built up an almost four second gap over second place runner Nicolas Latiffi, who was busy holding off a charging Will Owen and Jack Aitken.
The race became timed after the long yellow to clean up the first lap mess, and ended on lap 14 with Tan holding a 6.9 second lead over second place Latiffi.
The win is the first win in America for Tan, an European F3 veteran and native of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It’s also the first win as a driver coach for Jack Hawksworth, who is Tan’s roommate in Houston, Texas. The two drivers also share common management.
Complete results are below:
|Rank||Car No.||Driver||Laps Completed||Quickest Lap|